Regarding enterprise cloud security, Dr. Chenxi Wang, VP Cloud Security and Strategy, CipherCloud, said that, "We are seeing that customers are moving away from cloud-specific, proprietary solutions, instead asking for multi-cloud platforms that act as a logical abstraction layer for many clouds."
"We're also seeing that customer requirements are migrating from ad hoc functions to integrated protection," explained Dr. Wang, and that "increasingly they now want visibility tied with control, as opposed to a stand-alone function." She added that, "We are not that far from treating the cloud as a secure extension of our enterprise infrastructure."
Founded in 2010, enterprise cloud security firm CipherCloud provides an open platform with security controls, including AES 256-bit encryption, tokenization, data loss prevention, malware detection, and visibility tools. Dr. Wang heads up the Silicon Valley startup's thought leadership initiatives.
In this recent email Q&A with TechRepublic, Dr. Wang discussed using thought leadership to promote a strategic view on cybersecurity, her firm's value proposition and technology platform, and how she sees her role at CipherCloud.
TechRepublic: What are the current trends in CipherCloud's competitive space?
Chenxi Wang: We are seeing that customers are moving away from cloud-specific, proprietary solutions, instead asking for multi-cloud platforms that act as a logical abstraction layer for many clouds. This logical abstraction layer is what many customers want to focus on in terms of cloud security control. We're also seeing that customer requirements are migrating from ad hoc functions to integrated protection.
For example, customers often want comprehensive visibility to cloud access, but increasingly they now want visibility tied with control, as opposed to a stand-alone function.
TechRepublic: What is the most important thing that technology leaders need to know about cloud security right now?
Chenxi Wang: For the next 12 months, technology leaders need to keep their eyes on:
- Investing in a logical abstraction of cloud applications for security and control purposes. Without that, cloud deployment for the future will become unmanageable.
- Having full visibility and control with respect to what is possible in cloud computing today. We are not that far from treating the cloud as a secure extension of our enterprise infrastructure.
TechRepublic: What are some of the things that you believe thought leadership should do for the cybersecurity industry and its customers?
Chenxi Wang: Thought leadership is about thinking a step ahead of the market. For cybersecurity, it really is about having that strategic treatment to security vs. tactical steps; for example, moving from response only to proactive protection, moving from signature-based detection to deep anomaly detection and deep learning to uncover hidden risky behaviors. Thought leadership can also help translate advance technical concepts to everyday topics with human interest — this is an area that I'll be spending more time on in the near future.
TechRepublic: What is CipherCloud's value proposition to both its current and prospective customers?
Chenxi Wang: We enable customers to embrace cloud applications with confidence. We do this by transforming every cloud into a secure extension of the company's infrastructure, solving the data security, privacy, and residency barriers to moving to the cloud.
TechRepublic: What are the key elements of CipherCloud's technology platform?
Chenxi Wang: Our technology platform does three major tasks: a) discovers and reports on cloud access activities and detects anomalous behavior and risks; b) protects critical data from going into risky cloud applications by applying data masking, encryption, tokenization, according to your policies; c) executes continuous monitoring of cloud access, performs data loss prevention, and anomaly detection.
TechRepublic: Since you recently joined CipherCloud as VP of Cloud Security & Strategy, how do you define your role and mission?
Chenxi Wang: My mission is to bring thought leadership to CipherCloud customers and also help the company with crafting strategies for go-to market, product directions, etc. My current efforts are focused on broader brand awareness in events, thought leadership content, and broadening up our messaging. I'm starting a thought leader discussion series where many thought leaders of the industry will come and discuss timely security and privacy issues with me. The first session is online.
TechRepublic: As a follow-up to that question, how would you describe the culture and initiatives at CipherCloud?
Chenxi Wang: CipherCloud is a startup, with a typical startup culture where things are moving fast, and everyone is juggling multiple roles. The current initiatives here reflect the journey of a startup that has moved successfully from the initial stage to the scale-up stage, where we are targeting bigger deals, better processes, as well as bolder and bigger-scale innovations.
TechRepublic: I am curious to know your impressions of the business and technology scene in your hometown of Shanghai, China.
Chenxi Wang: Shanghai is a vibrant town, in terms of arts, culture, finance, and also in terms of the technology scenes. Shanghai is the center for mobile innovation and digital animation arts in China. Lots of startups in those areas.
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Note: TechRepublic, ZDNet, and Tech Pro Research are CBS Interactive properties.
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Brian Taylor is a contributing writer for TechRepublic. He covers the tech trends, solutions, risks, and research that IT leaders need to know about, from startups to the enterprise. Technology is creating a new world, and he loves to report on it.